One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A coastal crab that has paddle-like rear legs for swimming.
Family Portunidae: many species, including the velvet swimming crab (Macropipus puber)
- ‘We found ten different species of nudibranch, as well as sea spiders, edible crabs, swimming crabs and sea hares.’
- ‘Other creatures you might find are velvet-backed swimming crabs.’
- ‘Velvet swimming crabs scurried up and down the pier legs.’
- ‘Within the wreck are conger, lobsters, edible and swimming crabs.’
- ‘Among the fronds are swimming crabs, hermits, prawns and well-camouflaged scorpionfish.’
- ‘He summarized the morphological characters typically attributed to swimming crabs.’
- ‘Red-eyed swimming crabs glared at us and shrimps, or the vivid orange and blue markings of a squat lobster, were picked out by our torch beams.’
- ‘Nestling in these were butterfish and velvet-backed swimming crabs.’
- ‘However, there are also swimming crabs and land crabs, and the range of sizes and configurations is huge.’
- ‘Velvet-backed swimming crabs were numerous, and edible crabs nestled into the anemones, as did small pollack.’
- ‘The shelves and fissures which bisect these rocks are home to edible crabs, velvet swimming crabs, prawns, squat lobsters and the occasional large common lobster.’
- ‘In September, the crevices in the wall are crammed with hundreds of mating pairs of velvet swimming crabs.’
- ‘Common lobsters, edible crabs, velvet swimming crabs, shore crabs and hermit crabs were common.’
- ‘Velvet-backed swimming crabs scuttled around me in their typically aggressive manner.’
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